By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
At first, the DEA went after dispensary owners. Now they're going after doctors who simply recommend medical marijuana to their patients.
A federal district attorney in Michigan has asked a judge to revoke bond for a Saginaw Township doctor facing drug charges.
In June 2010, Dr. Ruth A. Buck was indicted on three counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, a 20-year felony, for prescribing pain and nerve pills, reports LaNia Coleman of The Bay City Times.
Dr. Buck was released on the condition that she not violate any federal, state or local laws.
?Now, federal attorneys are claiming Buck violated federal law by "aiding and abetting the distribution of marijuana" by operating the Mid-Michigan Medical Marijuana clinic in Saginaw.
Buck certified about 1,870 patients for medical marijuana use, investigators claim.
The government also alleges that Buck violated Michigan state law by certifying an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, according to court records.
The DEA and Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team raided Dr. Buck's clinic, as well as her Saginaw Township home, on March 17. Agents confiscated patient records and copies of High Times and Weed World magazines, according to reports. (WTF? Since when can law enforcement seize copies of legal, First Amendment-protected magazines?)
DEA agents would not say what prompted the searches and declined further comment. BAYANET officials deferred comment to the DEA.
"I met with Dr. Buck and ... after reviewing the list of things that were taken, there was nothing of evidentiary value," said Carl J. Marlinga, Buck's attorney, reports Gus Burns of The Saginaw News. "We have no idea why they would continue this type of harassment.
"It appears they have a philosophical difference with Michigan's medical marijuana law, and they are trying to show Dr. Buck that their philosophical view of the world is the one that should prevail," Marlinga said. "There is nothing criminal that she was doing related to medical marijuana."
Buck has her Michigan medical marijuana license and last year opened Mid-Michigan Medical Marijuana, a clinic that writes recommendations to qualify patients to receive medical marijuana.
GrowMart, whose clientele include hydroponic medical marijuana growers, shares the building, and its owners want to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the empty storefront next door.
"I don't engage in marijuana," Buck said. "I'm a physician. I provide certifications, and I conduct my business in my office. I don't smoke. I'm not a registered patient. I don't grow plants.
"This raid is not about medical marijuana," Buck said. "It's more about targeting me. It's an annoyance ... and this is harassment, in my perception."
The original charges were due to allegations that, between January 2006 and July 2009, Buck prescribed more than 1.5 million dosage units of pain killers, federal officials claim.
The drugs included Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax, morphine, methadone and Dilaudid.
A hearing on the motion to revoke Dr. Buck's bond is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 14, before U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington in federal court in Bay City.
Article From Toke of the Town and used with special permission.